Viva Vida! Lit Mags That Challenge Sexism
By Rachel Peterson
Since the VIDA count first appeared, with its shocking yet not-so-shocking news of sexism in publishing, many lit mag editors have stepped up to the challenge of ensuring gender parity. In just a few years, the literary landscape has changed and continues to change---Brava!
Below are a list of journals that I consider "VIDA-friendly." These are magazines that name VIDA as a part of their process and/or who engage in a real dialogue about issues of sexism in publishing, whether on the VIDA website or elsewhere. Of course, if you know of more literary magazines that are part of this conversation, please let us know.
Thumbs up to these magazines for making improvements in the past year:
These mags are counting their authors because of The Count:
All these journals were profiled or discussed on HER KIND, the blog-space of VIDA:
So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art
A general search of VIDA Count revealed these results:
Brevity features an article about the contribution of female writers to Creative Nonfiction.
Calyx's editor speaks of VIDA's count.
Lit Reactor discusses women getting recognition they deserve.
The Missouri Review discusses racism and class, a great addition to the conversation.
The RUMPUS has issued a statement in support of inclusion. Special Kudos for tabulating their own count for writers of color.
Tin House has published helpful content about improving their numbers over several years.
Virginia Quarterly Review looks at the issue.
Weave has discussed VIDA and has encouraged more women to submit.
There's much more out there, of course, and much more still to be done.
Born in Bloody Harlan, Kentucky, Rachel teaches college near Springfield, Ohio. Her academic adventures have led to an MFA in Poetry and MA in Religion. She also has had the good fortune to travel widely and participate in service work both in the US and abroad. A poem from manuscript is featured in Literary Imagination. More poems can be found in Arsenic Lobster, Midwestern Gothic, and The Los Angeles Review. “Elegy of the Gun,” published by LAR, was just nominated for Best New Poets.